Please welcome the members of this year’s Florida College Friends group: Nathan Shepard, Logan Alford, Abby Hopkins, Noah Diestelkamp, Natalia Restrepo Gutiérrez, Travis Smith, Jessie Tharp, Jacob Stringer and Harrison Reagan (pictured above, left to right).

The group members were selected by a committee led by Adam Olson, Florida College’s director of alumni relations and the director of the Friends, after two days of auditions on Aug. 23 and Aug. 24.

“I am excited about working with this group,” Olson said. “Each student brings something unique and valuable.”

The members have specific roles in the group based on their unique musical talents. Noah Diestelkamp, Natalia Restrepo Gutiérrez, Abby Hopkins and Jessie Tharp will all participate as vocalists. Harrison Reagan and Jacob Stringer will play guitar for the group. Logan Alford will be on bass, Travis Smith will play piano, and Nathan Shepard will be the group’s drummer.

The Friends will practice and perform at a variety of events throughout the year and travel across the U.S. for a fall tour and a summer tour. On their two annual tours, the Friends have the opportunity to meet Florida College alumni and friends from all over the country.

“The purpose of this group is to engage students, parents and alumni and connect them to the mission and message of Florida College,” Olson said. “For decades, Florida College students have impressed audiences with their talent and enthusiasm, and we look forward to another successful year!”

Florida College is thrilled to have these students representing the school this year.

Hometown: Folsom, California
Year: Senior
Major: Business Administration

“I am most excited about Friends this year because we have a lot of diverse talent and I can’t wait to see how we develop as a group and as a family!”

Harrison Reagan
Hometown: St. Louis, Missouri
Year: Junior
Major: History

“I’m most excited about Friends this year because I’m looking forward to the memories I know we’ll make next summer and over the next months, and I’m happy that I get to give back to a school that means so much to me”

Abby Hopkins
Hometown: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Year: Junior
Major: Business Administration

“I am excited to be a Friends member this year not only because I get to meet so many amazing people and make lasting friendships, but also because I get to share with those same people my love for Florida College and what it has meant to me.”

Nathan Shepard
Hometown: Jacksonville, Florida
Year: Senior
Major: Business Administration/Liberal Studies (Pre-Med)

“I am most excited to be a member of the Florida College Friends this year because of all of the new music we are going to learn and perform for people all around the U.S. It’s the music that brings us all together and allows us to have an impact on peoples lives.”

Travis Smith
Hometown: Manizales, Colombia
Year: Freshman
Major: Music

“I can’t wait to share an awesome time with all the people who are going to be part of this experience, helping me grow and live my dream of making music a lifestyle instead of just a hobby.”

Natalia Restrepo Gutiérrez
Hometown: Bryant, Arkansas
Year: Senior
Major: Business Administration

“The thing I’m most excited about in Friends this year is taking on a role of leadership. This is my third year and I’m one of only three seniors in the group, so I know that there will be certain expectations and responsibilities that I will need to take on this year.”

Jacob Stringer
Hometown: Pontiac, Illinois
Year: Junior
Major: Communication

“The thing that excites me most about Friends this year is the chance to build relationships—relationships with my fellow Friends, with alumni and friends of the College, and everyone we meet while on the road.”

Noah Diestelkamp
Hometown: Tallahassee, Florida
Year: Junior
Major: Organizational Communication

“I am most looking forward to meeting the campers from all over the country and showing them, just as the Florida College Friends showed me, how special a place Florida College truly is.”

Logan Alford
Hometown: Indianapolis, Indiana
Year: Junior
Major: Music

“I am extremely excited to be in the Florida College Friends and have the opportunity to travel with the group and meet people all over the country.”

Jessie Tharp